Star of BBC1’s Waterloo Road (Wednesday evening) Rebecca Ryan reveals how the life of her alter ego, Vicki MacDonald, falls apart…

How did you get involved with Waterloo Road?
“I was in the show last year in a guest appearance as Vicki MacDonald. After that was finished I was asked if I wanted to come back and carry on with Vicki’s story.”

What’s changed with Vicki since we last saw her?
“When we last saw Vicki she was working as a lap dancer to help provide money, as her dad was really ill. This series he’s even sicker and Vicki ends up living in a hostel.”

How did you feel about playing a young girl whose family life goes awry?
“I’m kind of used to it with Shameless! It’s been interesting to see this side of life. I personally don’t know anyone who’s gone though anything like that, and I wouldn’t like to experience it for real.”

Does her schoolwork suffer because of her personal problems?
“You see her schoolwork start to deteriorate, she’s late for exams and it’s all quite mad. She’s quite brainy so her teachers become worried.”

Does Vicki have any close friends?
“She’s best friends with Jess. Jess is surer of herself, whereas Vicki is a bit in her shadow. They have a really good friendship, but there comes a time when Vicki gets a bit jealous because Jess gets all the guys and is popular.”